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Gold Prices Edge Up After Mixed Flash PMI Data

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices were trading higher on the day after the release of mixed preliminary manufacturing and service-sector sentiment data.

The flash U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for September rose to a reading of 53.0 from August’s 52.8, research firm IHS Markit said in its latest report. The latest monthly figure matched economists’ expectations.

At the same time, the firm’s service sector PMI reading declined to 55.1 after jumping to 56.0 in August. Economists were projecting for the index to edge down to 55.9.

Any monthly reading above 50 points to an expanding sector, while anything below that shows contraction in activity.

Gold prices ticked up immediately after the release, with December Comex gold last seen trading at $1,299.00, up 0.32% on the day. Earlier this morning, gold prices were modestly higher on some safe-haven demand, mainly led by risk aversion triggered by another North Korean threat to detonate a huge hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

“The US economy showed encouraging resilience in a month of hurricane disruption. Although the September surveys indicated a moderation in growth of business activity, the overall rate of expansion remained robust,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

Williamson also pointed out that the biggest impact from Hurricane Harvey was witnessed in September’s manufacturing supply chains. “Supply delays were the most widespread in two and a half years, while input price inflation rose to the highest since 2012,” he said.

The economist added the IHS projects that repair work connected with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey could boost short-term business activity in coming months.

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